Former NFL Player: Football Is Never Going To Be Safe05:17

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The National Football League has agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit by more than 4,500 former players who claim to suffer from the long-term effects of head trauma, including many who took the field for the New England Patriots.

Most of the money goes to former players who joined the suit. But $75 million goes to funding medical exams and treatment for all former players, and $10 million is being set aside for continued medical research.

To discuss what the settlement means, Morning Edition spoke with former Green Bay Packer Phil Vandersea, who also played for UMass Amherst and who is currently president of the New England chapter of the NFL Former Players Association.

"Overall you can't really take some of the violence out of the game. As we get it to the point when you're taking so much out that it isn't a football game anymore," Vandersea said. "You cannot change the game to where you want it safe because it's never really going to be safe."

This program aired on August 30, 2013.

Bob Oakes Twitter Host, Morning Edition
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992.